Trying to set work-life boundaries during a vacation is not an easy task. But, it’s for us to set them.
So, when someone trying to force you into a corner it might feel like they’re violating their privacy.
Redditor gavelpounder91 encountered this very issue with their wife. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for secretly muting my wife’s emails while on vacation?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“She is hourly, and not paid a high enough wage to warrant her needing to check emails after hours.”
“I’m paid a high salary in a 24/7 production type job. I check my email once a day to make sure I didn’t seriously screw the pooch on something before I left, but thats it.”
“I do have a problem with her reading emails and starting to worry about work when she isn’t paid to, every time she gets copied on a work email. I get that she doesn’t want to walk in blind next week.”
“But she’ll have plenty of time to read missed emails on the plane ride home.”
“Am I the a**hole to getting her phone and blocking her work email notifications behind her back?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was the a**hole.
“YTA. You could like… you know… talk to your wife. I get that it comes from a good place, but this is not the right solution.” ~ 9okm
“With you messing with her career behind her back, it seems like you are content to keep her that way.”
“YTA” ~ SlickStrick
“This whole thing reads like the root of the issue is ‘I don’t think my wife’s job is worth a damn relative to my own, as she is paid less.'” ~ Oshootman
“I mean, I wouldn’t want my spouse working for free either. And to be fair, salaried positions ARE paid with the expectation that there may be some work outside of normal business hours.”
“Either way, he was out of line taking it upon himself to mess with her email instead of just having a conversation with her.” ~ duchess_of_fire
“This was my reading, because I’ve been hourly in a company that had an unspoken expectation for after-hours attention without after-hours compensation.”
“It took me a bit to teach myself ‘I am not being paid and this is not my job right now,’ but I’d’ve been pissed if my husband did this while I was still doing that.”
“Like, once in a while it’s whatever, but no hourly worker should be expected to bring their job with them off the clock.” ~ scatteringashes
It was her boundary to set.
“Doesn’t he have a point though? Someone who is paid hourly is not and should not be expected to work off the clock.”
“Checking and responding to work emails is work. I don’t think its the difference in salary so much as salary vs hourly. It depends how often she’s checking, but if she’s doing so every hour then thats definitely excessive and I can see why OP would want her to ease up, especially while on vacation.”
“But you solve that with a conversation, not going behind her back like this.” ~ taybay462
“I’m on an hourly salary and I check emails outside of my ‘paid’ hours.”
“There’s a few reasons:”
“I want to perform well and get promoted to salary. A good way of doing this is having all my projects run smoothly and efficiently, and catching stuff out of hours helps.”
“If I show that I’m willing to be a little flexible, I get flexibility back. So yeah, if I keep an eye on emails outside of work, I don’t feel as bad checking the odd personal email while at work, or taking the odd personal phone call.”
“Knowing that I’m on top of everything while at home means I’m more relaxed and able to actually enjoy my time off the clock.” ~ candydaze
“You have to be careful with this. If you’re in the US and hourly, it’s literally illegal for your employer not to pay you for that time, regardless of whether you were scheduled to be working, were asked to be working, or are recording that time as being working time.”
“A lot of employers turn a blind eye to that sort of thing, of course, but in theory, once they know you’ve worked outside of the hours you’ve been paid for, it is their responsibility to calculate the extra time to the best of their ability (with your cooperation or otherwise) and pay you that overtime.”
“A very straitlaced or very ethical boss might get very, very mad at you for the extra time and money you’ve just stolen from them.” ~ RishaBree
Redditors could see OP’s point.
“That’s how I read it as well. He mentioned the amount as basically saying she’s not paid enough to worry about this stuff while on vacation. I don’t think he meant to put her or her job down.”
“That being said, he really should talk to her instead of secretly muting her emails. That’s a terrible thing to do.” ~ TheSciFiGuy80
“My general feeling is that no one should check work emails while on vacation (I personally set an auto response and leave my work phone at home); HOWEVER, I agree that this decision was not OP’s to make. YTA for sure, OP.” ~ LadyGreyIcedTea
“I don’t agree OP is coming from a good place. He is directly disrespecting his wife’s career and undermining her contributions and the importance of her job. Who the hell is OP to decide if her wife’s job is important or not?”
“OP, YTA” ~ lilo1405
“Could not agree more.”
“It definitely warrants a conversation if it’s causing issues in the relationship, but it also has to come from the right place.”
“Don’t automatically assume she’s going to be like that on vacation. It’s reasonable to be worried if she has done it in the past – but, even then, the discussion should be framed in a way where you’re expressing concern while not attacking her or using ‘you always do this’ language.”
“Don’t go making decisions for her. That would make YTA.” ~ ConfidentClusterfuck
At the end of the day it was her email and her decision to make.